BJP releases manifesto for general elections (Lead: BJP manifesto)

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New Delhi, Apr 3 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its party's manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

For Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, the party has promised to give 35 kg rice per month at Rs two per kg and wheat at Rs 3.5 per kg. This is seen as a counter to the Congress, which has promised to offer rice at Rs three per kg.

There is also a promise to provide a bicycle to school-going girls in BPL families.

The salaried class has been promised a raising of the income tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh per annum. For women, the limit would be Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.

For the armed forces, the party announced that all defence forces and paramilitary personnel will be exempted from income tax. The BJP also promised a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

Reaching out to farmers, the BJP said it would waive off all current loans and provide fresh loans at four per cent interest rate.

At the manifesto release, BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani said that there is no need of Article 370, which means no special status be given to Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from this, the BJP manifesto says that no one will be allowed to touch the Ram Setu and a new route will be found.

The party also promised to enact strong POTA-like laws to tackle terrorism.

"The party will bring a tough-POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) like law to deal with terrorism," said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad while releasing the manifesto.

The party seems to have put its Hindutva issue on the backburner with issues like rebuilding of Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

The last chapter of the 48-page manifesto is devoted to "Preserving our cultural heritage" and has the four lines on the Ram Temple. It says: "There is an overwhelming desire of the people in India and aboard to have a grand temple at the birth place of Sri Ram in Ayodhya. The BJP will explore all possibilities, including negotiations and judicial proceedings, to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. (ANI)

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